Volkswagen AG and Toyota Motor Company may downplay the parallel, but they both now have “saved” Japanese automakers General Motors cast off. First, Toyota bought GM’s 20 percent of Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries in late 2005 and VW has just purchased 19.9 percent of Suzuki, making VW the Japanese company’s biggest shareholder, less than a week after GM bought out Suzuki’s share of the CAMI joint-venture plant in Ontario, Canada.
Surely it’s a coincidence that Volkswagen and Toyota now are in a neck-and-neck race to claim the top spot as the world’s largest automaker. Toyota has held the spot for a couple of years. VW’s Ferdinand Piech, who just turned the tables on Wendelin Wiedeking and bought majority interest in his family’s company, Porsche, smells blood in Asia. No doubt he’d like to quickly do to Toyota what Toyota did to GM. Still with me?
Okay. So Toyota maybe doesn’t care so much about being number one. Its couple of years at the top was no day at the beach, and the first priority of the company’s new chief, scion Akio Toyoda, is to sell “passionate” cars again. Exactly the kind that VW and its brands, from Audi to Bugatti, have sold to great success in recent years.
Source: Motor Trend